Beauty, whether in the animal or human world, exists in the eye of the beholder. Evolution is as much about allure, sensory delight, and subjective experiences as it as about survival of the fittest.
Last summer while travelling I read Moby Dick on my iPhone. I am now at a point in my life when, circumscribed by airline baggage weight restrictions, the choice between packing Moby Dick or an extra pair of shoes is no choice at all. So I downloaded a free version and tucked my phone in my pocket.
...this is part of a talk I'm going to do at Queen Mary University in London in a few weeks, at the conference Emerging Critical Environments with Kate Soper and Tim Clark (and others). I already posted the opening on my blog.
Lately I often find myself saying “I cut Lady Mary Wroth from my syllabus because the poems are terrible.”
I got back from England last week. While I was there it surprised me to see on at least two occasions a cold mound of badger flesh, large as a black plastic rubbish sack, one dead paw raised as if to ask a question in class, lying at the side of a rural road. I don't remember that sight from the days when I grew up in the country.
One of the pleasures of teaching is the ability to linger at length with students on questions such as this: « Pourquoi donc y a-t-il des fleurs ? » [Why on earth are there flowers? Philippe Jaccottet. Cahier de verdure, 1990 : 106].
In a talk at Stanford that I listened to here, Gayatri Spivak warned that literature departments were turning into opera.
If you help your team win a match by deliberately breaking the rules, as Luis Suárez did last week, are you a hero or a cheat? I think a cheat, but let me say why.
Judging historical artworks within historical categories seems, in general, like a Good Thing, but it leads sometimes to unanticipated conclusions. I've been working (i.e. should be working right now) on Osbern of Canterbury's late 11th century life of St Ælfheah, most of which is made up.